What's the Affordable Care Act going to do to my business? -Part 1: Does it apply to my business(es)?

As you know, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (d/b/a “ObamaCare” or the “ACA”) is now unavoidable.  Much has been written about the ACA, but I’d like to focus solely on what it means to small businesses.

You’ve probably heard that businesses with less than 50 full-time employees are exempt from the ACA.  I’m afraid that’s not exactly right.  You can actually have less than 50 full-time employees, and still fall under the ACA’s mandate to provide health insurance for your employees.   Here are the “gotcha’s”:

  • If you own multiple businesses, you might have to total-up all of the employees in each of your businesses, and see if the sum of ALL your employees is greater than the equivalent of 50 full-time employees;
  • If you have some “part-time” employees that work 30-32 hours a week, these employees are considered “full-time” by the ACA and count directly toward the 50 employee limit; and
  • If you have some “part-time” employees that work less than 30 hours per week, the number of these employees is added together, and the total could put you over the 50 “full-time” employee limit.

It’s a very complex matter, and most businesses will need professional help in determining if they fall under the ACA mandate, and figuring out their best course of action if they do.  Even growing businesses that don’t fall under the mandate effective January 1, 2014 will need to prepare for the day they will eventually trigger the health care mandate under the ACA.

My next blog will discuss what you should do if you think your business(es) fall under the ACA at the end of the year.

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